Energy storage & new clean energy financing options headline an otherwise lean energy policy bill

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ST. PAUL, Minn. – Clean Energy Economy MN (CEEM) applauds the Walz-Flanagan administration and the bipartisan work of the Minnesota Legislative Energy Committees this session for passage of S.F. 2 - the Omnibus Jobs, Economic Development, Commerce, and Energy bill. Governor Walz signed the bill into law on May 31, which included two key policy provisions that CEEM prioritized and worked on throughout the legislative session. While the lack of passage of several bold and important clean energy policies is a missed opportunity, the inclusion of energy storage and improvements to Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is exciting for Minnesota’s clean energy community.

“Policy certainty is critical for moving our state in a positive direction. This session was an opportunity to act boldly, with intention, to ensure Minnesota increases our competitive advantage. Providing clear policy direction is essential to attract investments over the next decade and beyond. While it’s frustrating the legislature was unable to deliver on many of the big ideas and proposals discussed this session, important progress was made. Combining the policy advances in energy storage and expanding the proven financial power of C-PACE will dramatically expand clean energy investment across the state of Minnesota,” said CEEM Executive Director Gregg Mast.

Additional information on the Energy Storage and C-PACE policy provisions:

Energy Storage

The energy storage policy directs public utilities in the state to include energy storage as a part of their long-term resource planning. The bill also enables the Minnesota Department of Commerce to examine the costs and benefits of energy storage across Minnesota. Public utilities will also be allowed to petition the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to recover costs associated with energy storage pilot projects. We view energy storage as an important part of the mix of technologies that will deliver reliable and increasingly clean energy to Minnesota’s businesses and households.

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy

The passage of C-PACE will unlock an estimated $333 million in new commercial construction projects and $30 million in PACE financing, according to the St. Paul Port Authority, which manages one of the state’s two PACE programs. PACE offers low-cost, long-term financing that is repaid as a property tax assessment for a specified period. Passage of this bill will allow the financing to be used on new construction, opposed to just renovations on existing buildings. In addition, the modification of assessment methods further enables capital investment. By allowing more customers and developers to access PACE financing, building owners in Minnesota who access this funding will construct buildings more efficiently, saving energy use and money.

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About Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM): CEEM is an industry-led, non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Minnesota’s clean energy business ecosystem. CEEM provides a unified voice for clean energy business across the state. Our mission is to provide educational leadership, collaboration, and policy analysis that accelerates clean energy market growth and smart energy policies. Learn more at https://www.cleanenergyeconomymn.org/ or follow us on Twitter at @cleanenergymn.